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Outlander: Heaven and Earth

And the moral is, never try to take grog away from sailors. Especially if they don't understand germ theory.

While I usually enjoy watching Claire deal with medical challenges, this episode was not my cup of tea. Maybe because there was no way to address the disease except for sanitation, hydration, and figuring out how it was spreading – which Claire, of course, did.

But not soon enough to save adorable fourteen-year-old sailor Elias Pound. As soon as the poor lad gave Claire his lucky rabbit's foot, I knew he was toast. Did licking the grog off his hands kill him? No way to know, but that was the implication. I actually cried when Claire had to sew Elias' shroud closed. That's pretty darned good writing and acting for a character we only knew for forty-five minutes.

The also young acting captain Leonard had faith in Claire's abilities, but most of the crew of the Porpoise were angry and resentful about that uppity woman ordering them to dip their hands in alcohol. Especially the nasty cook, Mr. Cosworth, who actually threatened her more than once. Elias Pound asked Claire how she was able to stay calm in the face of all this, and she told him about compartmentalization.

But back on the Artemis, Jamie was definitely not compartmentalizing. Desperate to follow and rescue Claire, Jamie made so much trouble that Captain Raines had him imprisoned, possibly saving him from jumping into the ocean and swimming after her. Ready to move heaven and earth for Claire (which is where the episode title came from), Jamie did his best to talk Fergus into organizing a mutiny. And that bothered me. Jamie is a smart man with a gift for strategy. He thinks things through; we've seen him do it repeatedly throughout the series. It felt out of character to see him so out of control.

Although that gave Fergus a chance to be the smart one. Even though he has always been unflinchingly loyal to Jamie, Fergus did some strategic eavesdropping, looked carefully at the entire situation, and decided on his own that mutiny wasn't worth the risk – to Jamie as well as Marsali. I especially liked the scene where Marsali gently washed and dried Fergus' stump as he was talking through this huge problem with her. This was the second episode that made me think that Fergus might have made a better choice of a life partner than I initially assumed.

After Claire surreptitiously discovered Tompkins with the blind eye and learned that Captain Leonard planned to use her as bait to capture Jamie, who is now wanted for murder and sedition (it's a small world in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean), Claire listened to her new friend Mistress Johansen and made a literal leap of faith off the side of the ship in the middle of the night with only a teeny tiny little cask-raft to support her.

Claire has done so much for Jamie. Why not this? Let's ignore the fact that there are – quick search on Google – seven thousand islands in the Caribbean. That's a lot of islands, Claire.


— The title card showed excise men axing that cask of crème de menthe.

— While vomiting away in his cell, Jamie kept looking at the photos of Brianna. We really need to get Jamie off ships.

— Fergus pickpocketing a piece of bread made me smile.

— Did Claire leave the penicillin behind? Where is her batsuit coat?

— The rabbit symbolism from Culloden showed up again in the form of Elias Pound's rabbit's foot.

— Jamie gave Fergus and Marsali his blessing. I am again picturing Laoghaire exploding when she receives yet another interesting letter.


Mr. Overholt: "How many casks will you require?"
Claire: "How many men would you like me to save?"

Elias: "The last stitch must go through his nose, Madam, to be sure he's dead. 'Tis always done by a friend."
I get it, I really do, but yecch.

Claire: "If you let yourself be affected by every death, you'd never save a life."

Claire: "Half the men on this fucking ship are dying of typhoid, and this bloody fool has almost drank himself to death on the alcohol I need to stop the goddamn fever from spreading! (Everyone looks at her) I'm sorry, Mr. Pound. Didn't mean to offend your tender ears."
Elias: "I've heard many such things before, madam, but not from a gentlewoman."

Fergus: "You asked me if I would move heaven and earth for the woman I love, and I will… even if it means I cannot marry her."

Eh. Two out of four rabbit's feet,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. I'm not done with this episode yet. I'm just posting here to say that we may want to consider trigger warnings for episodes in which people are quarantined due to an illness.

    Claire telling Mr. Pound not to touch his face or clothes with his dirty hands was not the escapism I was looking for.

  2. Josie, yeah, this is not my favorite episode. I didn't care much for it before the pandemic.

  3. I guess Pandemic and Contagion aren't high on your to-view list.


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